Small Farms

Australia’s farm production forecast to top $60 billion

ABARES Executive Director, Karen Schneider, said the expected modest rise in value was bolstered by improved prospects for livestock and cropping industries.

“Total farm production is forecast to rise by 3 per cent to reach $60.3 billion in 2016-17, following a forecast increase of 9 per cent to $58.7 billion in 2015-16,” Ms Schneider said.

“The gross value of livestock production is expected to be $30.8 billion in 2016-17, up from $30.3 billion in 2015-16. This is off the back of continued strong international demand for Australia’s livestock products.

“The gross value of crop production is forecast to rise by 4 per cent to $29.5 billion in 2016-17 assuming a return to favourable seasonal conditions in most cropping regions.”

Ms Schneider said farm exports were forecast to remain strong in 2016-17.

“Earnings from farm exports are forecast to remain at around $45 billion in 2016-17, following a forecast rise of 3 per cent in 2015-16,” Ms Schneider said.

“Export earnings for crops are forecast to be $22.4 billion in 2016-17, slightly lower than a forecast $22.7 billion in 2015-16, because of falling world prices for crops as a result of plentiful global supply.

“Earnings for exports of livestock and livestock products are forecast to rise slightly to a record $22.6 billion in 2016-17, supported by firm international demand.”

The agricultural commodities for which export earnings are forecast to rise in 2016-17 are wool (up 7 per cent), dairy products (4 per cent), sugar (7 per cent), live feeder/slaughter cattle (9 per cent), cotton (22 per cent) and canola (13 per cent).

These forecast increases are expected to be more than offset by expected declines in export earnings for beef and veal (down 4 per cent), wheat (1 per cent), lamb (3 per cent) and mutton (11 per cent).

By 2020-21, the gross value of farm production is projected to be $58.5 billion (in 2015-16 dollars), under the assumption of average seasonal conditions. This projected value is 11 per cent higher than the average of $52.6 billion over the five years to 2014-15 in real terms.

The value of farm exports is projected to be around $45.3 billion (in 2015-16 dollars) in 2020-21, also around 11 per cent higher than the average of $40.7 billion over the five years to 2014-15 in real terms.

The figures were released today in the March issue of Agricultural Commodities at the ABARES Outlook conference in Canberra.

In addition to the commodity outlook to 2020-21, the March issue contains analysis of the performance of broadacre and dairy farms; productivity in Australia’s broadacre and dairy industries; and a disaggregation of farm performance statistics by farm size.

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